What does science have to do with religion? What does it mean to have expertise about the natural world? And what difference do politics and funding sources make to scientific investigation? Learn how to think critically and historically about science in this course by exploring such fundamental questions across two millennia. We begin with ancient mythology and philosophy, then follow the movement of natural philosophical traditions into medieval Islam and Christendom, and finally turn to the ‘revolution’ in science of the 16th and 17th centuries with Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton. These historical investigations provide vital insights into ideas of the ‘natural’, scientific observation, and experiment, as well as into our expectations of scientific knowledge and the scientific enterprise.
Download HS_ILS201 fall20 syllabus HSIA FINAL